Lindell excited for new opportunity with Bucs
Rian Lindell admitted Monday was a very "odd" day, getting cut by the Bills after being the most accurate kicker in franchise history.
Lindell, 36, said it wasn't a total surprise, as he saw it as a possibility from the moment Buffalo drafted a kicker, Dustin Hopkins, in the sixth round. He was a little down emotionally, not knowing how long he'd have to wait for a call.
But Lindell is pumped that, after just two days without a job, he gets a "fresh start" with the Bucs, signed Wednesday to compete with rookie Derek Dimke.
"You don't back into these jobs," Lindell said. "Nothing is handed to you in the NFL, in any position. There's no low-hanging fruit. You have to earn everything, so that'ts what I'm trying to do here."
With veteran Lawrence Tynes (toe) sidelined the past few weeks, coach Greg Schiano wanted to bring someone in to help take the load off Dimke, who has been their primary kicker in practice and games. Whether Lindell has enough time to beat out Dimke remains to be seen, as the rookie is 5-for-5 in games and has been impressive.
"(Lindell) is an experienced guy, has been very, very effective in this league for a number of years," Schiano said. "Derek Dimke has done all the kicking. We were wearing Derek out and I don't know where this is going to go exactly, but we're going to let it play out and make some decisions here in the next two weeks."
Lindell said he loved his time in Buffalo, where he played 10 years and fell 32 points shy of Steve Christie's franchise record. He credited Hopkins for kicking well in beating him out, but he's still confident in his abilities, even from 50 yards and beyond.
"I feel like I'm in great shape and hit the ball well," Lindell said. "So I still feel comfortable there."
Lindell kicked during individual periods today, not during team drills, but hopes he'll get a chance in Saturday's exhibition game. But while Dimke has no experience in an NFL regular season game, Schiano said he'd be comfortable starting him Week 1.
"If that's what's best for our team, yeah," Schiano said. "Last year, (Kai Forbath) had a tremendous camp and he went on to kick for (the Redskins). We had our guy, though. Everybody has to be a rookie at one point."